Life balance – a nice brand term around the job market. Unfortunately, fiction authors don’t generally get job posts. For some, writing is a full-time job. Others use it as a balance between being a stay-at-home parent and losing their sanity. I stick it between an internship, a doctoral program, and a teaching assistant position.
I might have lost my mind.
While I can’t speak for everyone, I haven’t found any authors who talk about life balance who aren’t fully earning a living off their books. Writing – on its own – once you are established, can be great. Sure, you have a deadline, but the when is up to you. Sure, you might be balancing multiple series to make ends meet alongside tours and conventions. It’s hard – undoubtedly – but that’s what publicists are for, right? And once you make enough to afford one, that’s one to a hundred less things you need to do.
As far as I go, I’m a part-time author. The expectations are pretty much par with a full-timer, but – like so, so many authors – I don’t have the time. This means that being an author invades my “free time.” Reading, editing, writing, marketing – each “empty” minute of my day gets eaten up with it.
What does this mean? My life balance sucks.
Of course, doctoral students have notoriously hellish life balance anyways, so the very idea of life balance is laughable. It also means that I have a hugely skewed perspective. Skewed – as in the lack of time for friends and enjoyment/entertainment activities is probably more extreme than most people might think.
My real conclusion here is you should either be an author or a doctoral student. Or a doctoral student in creative writing, so your books count towards your coursework – or even dissertation.
I digress. Send cookies.